Jen Shah
Source: Bravo

Before Her Arrest, Jen Shah Spoke About a "Time of Evaluation" for Her Businesses (EXCLUSIVE)

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Mar. 31 2021, Updated 2:38 p.m. ET

When women sign up to be on any Real Housewives franchise, they agree to share it all when it comes to their personal and professional lives. For RHOSLC star Jen Shah, that now includes her arrest.

The first Polynesian housewife spoke at length about her successful business career on the show, and she featured scenes with her "first assistant," Stuart Smith (aka StuChainz).

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With her Shah Chalet, her ever-present glam squad, and her large staff, Jen continued to puzzle fans about how exactly she made her money. 

On March 30, 2021, both Jen Shah and Stuart Smith were arrested, and they were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud (through telemarketing) and with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The first charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years, while the second is 20 years. 

jenshahrhoslcarrest
Source: Bravo
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Before her arrest on March 30, Jen spoke with Distractify about how her businesses were doing, and how Stuart Smith was her "tried and true" employee. 

What did Jen Shah's businesses involve? She identified as an "entrepreneur" on the show.

Since the news of Jen's arrest broke, many have wondered what the reality star did for a living. 

On the show, Jen said that she was the CEO of three marketing companies, and she featured the various employees from the Shah Squad. 

She also operated several companies in the beauty sphere, including a couture dress line called JXA Fashion, her monthly subscription eyelash line Shah Lashes, and her skincare brand, Shah Beauty. 

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Though Jen featured her work life on RHOSLC, some viewers (and her co-stars) were left confused about her career. During the Season 1 reunion for RHOSLC, host Andy Cohen asked Jen "how [she] got so rich."

"My background is in direct-response marketing, for about 20 years. Our company does advertising. We have a platform that helps people acquire customers. When you're shopping online or on the internet, and something pops, we have the algorithm behind why you're getting served that ad."

rhoslcjenshah
Source: Instagram
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Jen's co-star, Heather Gay, said that she still didn't "get it" with regards to how Jen made her fortune.

Back in February of 2021, Jen spoke exclusively with Distractify about how her various businesses were doing in light of the pandemic and following her star power from the show. 

"With the pandemic, some of my businesses had to realign, and we changed the business model a little bit," she explained. "The pandemic made us evaluate things and what's important."

The mom of two said that she had to "rearrange different things." This included "realign[ing]" some of her employees who moved from one of her companies to another.

But the reality star was only looking forward to what she had in store with her companies for the rest of 2021.   

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"It's been a time of evaluation both personally and through all of my businesses," Jen continued. "We've spent a lot of time focusing on the new business products and the new launches for 2021."

Though the Utah native intended on business growth, she's now embroiled in a legal battle.

jenshahinstagram
Source: Instagram
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Who is Stuart Smith? Jen Shah's assistant was also arrested.

Both Jen and her "first assistant" Stuart Smith were arrested in Utah on March 30. Though Jen and Stuart had a tight-knit bond on the show, they have been ordered to cease contact with one another until the case concludes. 

The two have been accused of defrauding hundreds of victims over the age of 55 in a telemarketing scheme.

Prosecutors stated, per CNN, that Jen and Stuart "sold alleged services purporting to make the management of victims' businesses more efficient or profitable." 

The "services" included website design and tax assistance, though many of the victims allegedly did not own computers. 

Stuart and Jen have also been accused of selling names as "leads" to others. 

Before Jen and her assistant were arrested, Stuart got a lot of fan love from RHOSLC fans for his devotion to Jen, and for his alter ego, StuChainz. 

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stuartsmith
Source: Instagram

Jen shared that all of her Shah Squad employees enjoyed appearing on the reality series, especially StuChainz. 

"They loved it; they got a kick out of it, especially Stu Chainz..." she said. "He's my tried and true, and he's been there [at Shah Squad Marketing] for 12 years now."

Neither Jen Shah nor Stuart Smith have publicly commented on the legal issues.

Viewers can catch up on Season 1 of RHOSLC on Hulu or on Peacock. 

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